Thursday 30 September 2021

German beer

in Holland during WW II. My gob is well and truly smacked at that German beer was being imported. And not just for German troops stationed there.

The minutes of the CBK (the Dutch brewers' association) committee meetings are full of mentions of German beer. Which they saw as a competitor and a threat. How on earth German brewers were going to be able to produce enough beer to supply Holland doesn't seem to have occurred to them.

Dutch brewers had two main concerns: 

1. that German beer might be stronger than was allowed for Dutch-produced beer:;

2. that German beer might be taxed at a lower rate.

Reasonable concerns in peacetime, but all rather irrelevant during the middle of a war.

Both are addressed here:

Mr Stikker announces that the German authorities have promised during the above-mentioned discussion that the German beer, which from 15th January this year has been imported into the Netherlands will not have a higher gravity than 10.3%. The import of German beer will be in the same proportion to beer imports in 1939 as future Dutch beer output stands to output in 1939. This agreement has not yet been definitively confirmed.

It has also been discussed that the price of the German imported beer would be equal to the Dutch beer. (This is important now that the specific import duty on German beer has been reduced from NLG 7.50 to NLG 12.- per H.L.). No commitments could be made with regard to Pilsener Urquell, because it is not yet part of the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft.

The German side suggested that the Dutch brewing industry be relieved of the burden of supplying beer to the German canteens, which would then receive draught beer instead of bottled beer. This proposal has been accepted with the proviso that these deliveries will then be made via the German stage service, so that it will not enter the free trade via the importers."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 21st January 1941, held at the Amsterdam City Archives, document number 31121-1, page 267.

You can see that there aim was to have limited quantities of German beer imported which was no stronger than local beer and with the same tax burden.

The last paragraph shows the extent of Dutch brewers' paranoia. If the Germans were going to supply their own troops they'd have to do it directly, for fear of some leaking into the normal Dutch market.

Though it did seem that the CBK wanted to distribute this German beer themselves:

"Negotiations are currently underway with the German authorities as to whether it will be possible for the C.B.K. to make a distribution service available via the breweries for the distribution of, for example, 100,000 H.L. German beer for the German stage, canteens, hospitals, etc."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 5th March 1941, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 246.

Loads more on this fascinating topic to come.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1887 Fullers Porter

Yet another recipe from my book after next. That's 37 recipes so far. Probably around another 300 to go. Unless it gets out of hand, like with "Blitzkrieg." That has 551.

Though fading fast in most of England, Porter remained a big deal in London and its surroundings. It was rare in bottled form, but remained a popular draught beer in the capital. Despite increasingly losing drinkers to Mild Ale.

By the last couple of decades of the 19th century aged or Keeping Porter had disappeared and all Porter was sold young or “mild”. This beer would have been consumed no more than a couple of weeks after racking.

By modern UK standards this is quite a strong beer. Back in the day, beer in London, with the exception of Light Bitters, didn’t come any weaker.

The grist is the classic London combination of pale, brown and black malts. The proportions of the three may have varied, but the three elements had been locked in since the 1820s. In addition, there’s an ingredient which wouldn’t have been permitted until 1847: sugar. And rather a lot of it, amounting to over 20% of the total. As with all the other Fuller’s beers, it’s simply described as “Sacc.” For consistencies sake, I’ve stuck with No. 2 invert.

Kent from the 1886 crop and East Kent from 1883 made up the hops. I’ve reduces the quantities to account for the age of the latter.

1887 Fullers Porter
pale malt 5.75 lb 51.11%
brown malt 2.25 lb 20.00%
black malt 0.75 lb 6.67%
No. 2 invert 2.50 lb 22.22%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.25 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.25 oz
OG 1054
FG 1020
ABV 4.50
Apparent attenuation 62.96%
IBU 43
SRM 33
Mash at 156º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Mild Ales with Andrew

When I'm in town - which is most of the time nowadays -  I usually troll on down to Butcher's Tears on a Saturday afternoon. To meet up with my mates Will and Lucas for some leisurely pints outside. 

My son Andrew mostly comes along. Not really a surprise he's keen. There's free beer on offer. He's unlikely to turn that down.

This week was a little different. Lucas was away visiting his family in London. While Will was off birdwatching in Georgia.That left just me and Andrew.

"Do you still want to come to Butcher's Tears, Andrew?"

"Of course I do."

Well, there's that settled.

I needed to drop by, anyway, to make a delivery. Dolores harvested some wild hops from her secret spot this week and had just finished drying them. Not a huge amount, maybe 200-300 grams. But enough for a small special brew made from all Amsterdam ingredients. Dolores keeps some hops for making tea and lets Butcher's Tears have the rest.

Entering the taproom, I'm pleased to see that there are two Milds of draught. I go for the stronger one, of a modest 6.4% ABV. While Andrew opts for the 6% one. You can see our pints above. Mine is the darker one. Very nice it was, too.

Drinking Mild with my son. It's been a dream of mine ever since he was born. There's something really special about sitting in a pub with your child. When they're of drinking age. It was also special when the lads were younger. Just not in a good way. Andrew tended to do a runner if I didn't keep a close eye on him. The times I've had to chase him down Nieuwe Dijk.

Sharing pints with kids is important to me. Probably because it's something I never got to do with my dad. He died when I was fourteen.  Just a few years too early.

We were just about to finish off our last beers when a couple of Andrew's university friends suddenly appear. They were going to a party in the next door building. Andrew decides to tag along with them.

"Great, I haven't had a dance in ages, Andrew."


"Only joking. I'm off home."

"Dad. Could I have some money?"

Some things never change.

Butcher's Tears
Karperweg 45,
1075 LB Amsterdam.

Monday 27 September 2021

Heineken's rice cooking

A few people have commented on the rice stage of Heineken's mashing scheme. Doubting whether it would work.

I have to admit, I don't really understand the process. And I don't completely understand what's in the brewing record, even though it's very detailed. The easiest way to get my head around it better is to let you have a look.

This is what it looks like.

I'll explain the Dutch terms as we go along. 

"1e storting" = 1st charge. Where 200 kg "moutmeel" (ground malt) is mixed with 8 hl water, resulting in a "beslag" (mix of water and malt at 35º C. Which was transferred to the "klaringskuip" lauter tun.

Now we get to the step we're really interested in. "2e storting" or 2nd charge. Where 50 kg of "rijstmeel" (rice flour) are mixed with 2.5 hl of water at 17º C and 1 hl of the mash. Resulting in 3.8 hl at 22º C.

Does that make sense? The temperature looks very low to me.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Düsseldorf daytripping again.

"I'll go and see what it is." Mikey volunteered.

"It's some sort of bar."

"That'll do. They're clearly selling shots."


Et Kabüffke is a tiny place, with a handful of tables outside. It has a wide range of spirits, but one is their speciality: Killepitsch. A drink devised in an air raid shelter. At least that's what the leaflet the friendly waitress gave us said. It's a herby thing.

"What do you think Mikey?" He doesn't look like he's enjoying it.

"It's OK." he says unenthusiastically. Before picking up the menu.

"I quite like it. And it's 42% ABV. Full of alcoholly goodness."

"I'm having something else."

A couple more rounds are consumed. Me sticking to the Killepitsch.

"It's 42% ABV." I repeat in my defence.

We're over 90 minutes in and Mikey still hasn't had a Weissbier.

"I know somewhere just around the corner that sells Weissbier." At least it probably does. It's the sort of place that would.

We don't go straight there , however. Mikey spotted a place with a cocktail happy hour earlier.

"Do youi fany a cocktail, Ron?"

"Why not? We are on holiday."

I get a big Margharita. Not sure how much booze is in it. certainly a lot of ice. we only stay for the one. And continue on tou our original destination.

Auberge? Pretty sure it used to called Polar Bear or something like that. I hope it's just the name that's changed.

A look at the beer menu is reassuring. Mikey gets his Weissbier, I get my Alt. Frankenheim is OK. Not as good as Uerige, but it'll do.

"Do you fancy a shot?" Was that me or Mikey?

"Why not?"

Why not, indeed? We're on holiday. Even if our livers aren't.

By telling him that the food is dead good, I manage to persuade Mikey to visit another Alt brewery: Zum Schlüssel   

Mikey peruses the food menu, while forcing down another delicious Alt. 

"This is a lot more expensive than Wuppertal."

"It's very good."

"There was a place back there with schnitzels for 8.90 euros. That'll do me."

That'll do me, too. If I'm honest. A filling meal will do fine.


"Why not?"

Passing the kitchen on my way to the bogs, I'm taunted by the delightfully fatty smell of roasting pork. I'd have happily paid an extra 10 euros.

The cheap schnitzel place is called Hexe. And the schnitzel isn't quite as cheap now it's no longer lunchtime. Now it's 10.90 euros. Still not a bad price. That's what we paid in Wuppertal.


"Why's yours bigger than mine?"

"I beg your pardon, Ronald."

"You and your filthy mind. It's your schnitzel I mean. Why is it bigger than mine?"

"Is it?"

"I'm sure of it." 

The banter, it just never ends.

It's Alt for me and Weissbier for Mikey, again. 


"How about some ouzo?"

Needing a slash, I ventured to the bogs. Now that's something I've not seen before:

I'm speechless. for a bit. What the fuck? Who on earth is this meant to appeal to?

No problem finding a ticket machine on the way back. We can travel with our heads held high.

The return trip is on a slower train, Still fairly quick. A young German couple invite us to sit opposite them. The look like heavy metal fans. Both have a half litre bottle of beer in their hand. 

I pull out my emergency can. The one I bought in Rewe on the way out Carlsberg elephant. 7.5% ABV. They look impressed. Even more so when I pull my emergency schnapps out of another pocket.. Chantré, the gentleman's impulse schnapps.

Mikey is hungry again by the time we get to Wuppertall. And drops by the Rewe for a frikadelle sandwich. I go for a more conventional egg and bacon.  Mikey also gets a bag of sweets. The walk back to the hotel is long enough for him to demolish both sarnie and sugar.

Et Kabuffke Killepitsch Stube
Flinger Str. 1,
40213 Düsseldorf.

Auberge Rock Pub
Bolkerstraße 29,
40213 Düsseldorf.

Zum Schlüssel
Bolkerstraße 41-47,
40213 Düsseldorf.

Bolkerstraße 4,
40213 Düsseldorf.

Saturday 25 September 2021

Let's Brew - 1887 Fullers XX

If you were expecting XX to just be a scaled-up version of X Ale you’re going to be very disappointed. It’s very much its own man.

At least very different to the single-gyle X Ale. There was also an X Ale parti-gyled with this XX which obviously had the same recipe. But let’s not overcomplicate things.

This is a real oddball of a beer, with only a single base malt. And that base malt, most unusually, is amber. Which could make this a bit of a bugger to reproduce as I’m not sure if an amber malt with sufficient diastatic power is commercially available. I don’t think I’ve seen another Mild with a grist like this.

The result of using all amber malt is a far darker beer than was usual for Mild of the period. This is about at the start of when Mild, at least in some parts of the UK, began to darken. Usually, the colour was no more than a dark amber. Dark enough to be distinguished from Pale Ale, but not brown. Whereas this beer is a proper dark brown.

“Bright and of good colour and flavour” a note says in the brewing record. That’s good to know.

A lot of the hops were pretty old, East Kent from the 1883 harvest, with a rather smaller quantity of Worcester from 1886. The latter were also used as dry hops.

1887 Fullers XX
amber malt 11.00 lb 78.57%
No. 2 invert sugar 3.00 lb 21.43%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.25 oz
Fuggles dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1065
FG 1023
ABV 5.56
Apparent attenuation 64.62%
IBU 42
SRM 22
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale



Friday 24 September 2021

Daytrip to Düsserldorf

Last weekend I was in Germany. Again. I won't give you a full blow-by-blow account, since I was in Wuppertal. Again. With Mikey. Again. Too much repetition.

One thing was new: a side trip to Dusseldorf. Now that is interesting. Vaguely.

I ache my way out of bed at 9:45. It was quite a late one (for me) last night. I''m so glad Mikey didn't persuade me to have a final drink in the heavy metal club close to our hotel. 

Not wanting to make breakfast too much of a rush, I make sure I'm downstairs by 10. That gives me half an hour to gaze at a roll, a slice of cheese and two of salami. I'm in such a hurry, I don't even fire up my laptop.

Where the hell is Mikey? Has he already eaten and buggered off. I collect my sad little breakfast and find a seat. I've plenty of choice as there's only one other person here. I'm just about to finish my coffee, when the lights are switched off. Dead on 10:30. That's sweet of them.

Three people step out of the lift I'll be taking upstairs. Headed for the breakfast room. They'll be lucky. I heard the door being locked behind me when I left.

Still wondering where the hell Mikey is, I wind up my computer. I hope he didn't get into a fight with a biker and is now lying face down in the Wupper.

That's a relief. A recent email from Mikey. He's just about to get a taxi back. Seems he "got lucky", as he put it,mikey last night. But no breakfast this morning.

Mikey is knocking on the door half an hour later. A cheap Weissbier* in his hand. He starts to recount what happened after he left me.

"Don't go into any details."

"I wasn't going to."


Time to plan our day. Not thinking much would be happening in Wuppertal on a Sunday, we opted to spend the day in Düsseldorf instead. Bound to be some life there.

"I fancy one of those Frakadelle thingies you had yesterday. It smelt really good."

On the way home, I'd nipped into the Rewe in the station and bought myself this delicious warm snack. 

"Full of meaty goodness." I reply.

We walk into town. It isn't that far to the Hauptbahnhof. 15 minutes or so. 12, if you fancy walking along the motorway-like Bundesallee.

Avoiding the Bundesallee meant we had to pass HA NOI. Which grabbed Mikey's attention. Especially the prices. 5 euros for chicken and noodles. And he hasn't breakfasted.

"I'm having some of that."

The portion is pretty huge. He'd half finished it by this point.

"Have some of the chicken, Ron. I'm done."

I do. It''s pretty nice.

"It would be a shame to waste it."

We get a regional express. Just two stops to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof. It takes 20 minutes.

"See where it's going?" I ask Mikey, pointing at the route map over the window. "Venlo."

(That's just over the border in Holland, for those of you not acquainted with Dutch geography. Until I decided to do a pub guide for the whole of the country. Now I can name all the provinces on a map. Venlo is in Limburg.)

I took a couple of crap photos in Wuppertal Hauptbahnhof. This is the better one:

(My apologies.)

We spend a frustrating time trying to buy a ticket for the U-bahn. No machines on the platform. And on the concourse, there were only ones for trains. 

"Sod it. Let's just get on. It's only three stops." I suggest.

Not something I'd usually do. But I really did spend ten minutes trying to find somewhere to buy an effing ticket. And was getting quite thirsty.

I guide us to Zum Uerige first. A favourite of mine. We sit outside.

"Weissbier, bitte."

"We don't sell Weissbier, only Alt."

I can see the disappointment on Mikey's face. And the waiter's, come to think of it. Mikey has to make do with an Alt.


"This is lovely" I enthuse after the first delicious sip. Well, not so much sip as a dirty great slurp.

"Uugh, a horrible bitter taste."

"That's what's good about it."


A clown is bending balloons over the road. He does seem to be bursting an awful lot of balloons. Their corpses are littered around his feet. 

I take pity on Mikey after three delicious Alts.Three wonderfully fresh, hoppy wonders.

"Fancy some shots.?" It's me calling for shots this time. Having seen people drinking from shot glasses sat outside the offie opposite Uerige.

"I'm in."

I always knew Mikey would be.

But you'll have to wait until next time to learn of all the mayhem when me and Mikey hit Bolkerstrasse. Wild, man, wild.

* There was an amazing deal a few weeks back. 29 cents for a 33 cl bottle of Austrian Weissbier. With labels in Chinese. Nothing at all wrong with it. Just odd that it ended up in Holland.

Alte Freiheit 24,
42103 Wuppertal.

Zum Uerige
Berger Str. 1,
40213 Düsseldorf.

Thursday 23 September 2021

More Heineken mashing schemes

Just four nights away and it's incredible how much of a backlog has built up. Of things that need to get done. And there was me thinking that life would be simpler once I'd got employment out of the way.

I've not the time to tell you all the fun I had in Germany. Maybe tomorrow. Instead, I've got some lovely decoction mashed for you. They complete the set of Heineken beers. I had worried that the pilot brewery wouldn't have made any batches of these two beers, Heineken's session Lagers. The first book contained none. Fortunately, there are some brews in the second book.

I was surprised that the mashing scheme of Domker Lagerbier was so complicated. It's a lot of effort for the equivalent of Mild Ale. Just like Beiersch, there's a triple decoction. Except the use of rice adds an extra level of complexity. At over 8 hours, it's the longest of any of the schemes.

The scheme for Licht Lagerbier is generally the same as for Pils, except some of the times are different. Especially during the sparging process.

Donker Lagerbier 30th Mar 1936
step duration (minutes)
Mash in at 34º C (93º F) 5
Mash in rice at 17º C (63º F) 5
Draw off first decoction and raise to 70º C (158º F) 15
Raise decoction to 100º C (212º F) 15
Boil first decoction 15
Rest whole mash at 50.5º C (123º F) 15
Draw off second decoction and raise to 70º C (158º F) 20
Raise decoction to 100º C (212º F) 10
Boil second decoction 25
Rest whole mash at 65º C (149º F) 10
Draw off third decoction and raise to 100º C (212º F) 5
Boil third decoction 20
Mash at 72º C and mash out (162º F) 60
Sparge at 67º C (153º F) and rest 60
Draw off main wort 75
Draw off second wort 130
Total time 485
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 834-1789.

Licht Lagerbier 23rd Mar 1938
step duration (minutes)
Mash in at 50.5º C (123º F) 10
Mash in rice at 28º C (82º F) 5
Draw off first decoction and raise to 70º C (158º F) 30
Raise decoction to 100º C (212º F) 15
Boil first decoction 15
Rest whole mash at 64.5º C (148º F) 30
Draw off second decoction and raise to 100º C (212º F) 15
Boil second decoction 15
Mash at 75.5º C (168º F) and mash out 45
Sparge at 71.5º C (161º F) and rest 45
Draw off main wort 45
Draw off second wort 150
Total time 420
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 834-1789.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1887 Fullers X

As you can see, I continue to chip away at the recipes for my late Victorian/Edwardian book. My experiences with "Blitzkrieg!" have taught me you can never start too soon writing the buggers.

Mild was hugely popular in the second half of the 19th century and X Ale was doubtless one of Fuller’s biggest sellers.

If 1051º looks high for a base-level Mild, you should have seen what London versions were like a couple of decades earlier. Then gravities were in excess of 1060º.

The grist is more complicated than usual in a Mild of the period. This looks like a transitional beer. Where the colour is darkening, though not as dark as a modern Dark Mild. Based on the percentages, it looks as if the amber malt might well have been diastatic. The sugar type is just a guess. The brewing record simply says “Sacc.”.

I’ve knocked back the hopping rate considerably on account of the age of the hops. Which were Kent from the 1884 harvest and East Kent form as far back as 1883.

1887 Fullers X
pale malt 5.00 lb 46.51%
amber malt 2.50 lb 23.26%
crystal malt 1.00 lb 9.30%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.25 lb 20.93%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 60 mins 0.75 oz

Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1051
FG 1014
ABV 4.89
Apparent attenuation 72.55%
IBU 28
SRM 15
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale


Tuesday 21 September 2021

Dutch beer production 1925 - 1970

Yet more Dutch numbers. This time showing the remarkable recovery of the brewing industry after WW II. Much of it powered by exports. And Heineken. Especially in the later years.

Production in the interwar years mirror the waxing and waning of the world economy, with the  impact of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 plainly visible.  Just as in the UK, just when things were starting to pick up in the late 1930s, an annoying was came along to mess everything up.

The continued increase in output in the first couple of years of the German occupation came at a price: a big reduction in strength. By the end, it wasn't intoxicating at all. Unlike in the UK, where at least average strength never dropped below 3% ABV.

At the start of WW II, a huge percentage of Dutch beer came from just a couple of breweries. Out of total production in 1939 of 1,508,000 hl, Heineken (Rotterdam) brewed 232,226 hl and Amstel 279,801 hl. Assuming Heineken's Amsterdam brewery produced something similar to their Rotterdam plant, along with Amstel they must have been responsible for half of all Dutch beer.

Dutch beer production 1925 - 1970
year hl year hl year hl
1925 1,944,000 1941 2,247,000 1956 2,485,000
1926 2,033,000 1942 2,076,000 1957 2,733,000
1927 2,058,000 1943 2,286,000 1958 2,941,000
1928 - 1944 1,848,000 1959 3,398,000
1929 2,319,000 1945 1,157,000 1960 3,552,000
1930 2,280,000 1946 1,873,000 1961 3,802,000
1931 2,103,000 1947 1,852,000 1962 3,965,000
1932 1,807,000 1948 1,514,000 1963 4,408,000
1933 1,609,000 1949 1,336,000 1964 4,965,000
1934 1,512,000 1950 1,413,000 1965 5,402,000
1935 1,373,000 1951 1,603,000 1966 5,695,000
1936 1,262,000 1952 1,611,000 1967 6,571,000
1937 1,298,000 1953 1,832,000 1968 6,849,000
1938 1,382,000 1954 1,978,000 1969 7,841,000
1939 1,508,000 1955 2,321,000 1970 8,772,000
1940 1,764,000        
"European Statistics 1750-1970" by B. R. Mitchell, 1978, pages 268- 288.



Monday 20 September 2021

Defining Pale Ale (part three)

Here's the final part of my definition of London Best Bitter. This time covering the post-WW II period.

This definition is mostly based on 1950 to 1975. Immediately after the war, no beers of this type were brewed due to government restrictions of gravity. By this time pre-war PAs at places like Fullers and Whitbread were a shadow of their former selves, with gravities in the low 1030ºs. They'd become Ordinary Bitters.

A new breed of Best Bitters started emerging around 1949 when brewers started to have the freedom to introduce stronger beers. I haven't found a single example of an old PA having its strength bumped up. These were all newly-introduced beers. A classic example is Fullers London Pride, but most of the then still numerous London brewers had an example.

The grist was quite similar to pre-war, with a couple of exceptions. At the start of this time slice flaked barley was the usual adjunct, simply because that's what the government insisted on. Once they had the choice, brewers universally switched back to maize. The use of crystal malt was becoming more common, but only in relatively small quantities. It was still not universally present in this class of beer.

No.1 and No. 2 invert remained the favourite types of sugar. Fullers continued to use a little glucose in their Pale Ales. Some beers also included a little caramel for colour adjustment.

Hops from all over the world continued to be imported, but in much smaller quantities than before the war. With the UK just about self-sufficient in hops there was far less need for foreign examples.The ones which were imported tended to be higher-quality varieties such as Styrian Goldings ,Saaz and Hallertau. Most beers contained 100% English hops.

Postwar London PA (Best Bitter)
OG 1040-1045
ABV 4-5%
Apparent attenuation 75-85%
IBU 20-30
SRM 5 - 8
pale malt 70-85%
crystal malt 0-5%
flaked barley or maize 10-15%
sugar 5-20%
Goldings Varieties  
Bramling Cross  
Northern Brewer  
Styrian Goldings  


Sunday 19 September 2021

More Dutch numbers

Amazing how much bollocks, sorry, highly informative posts, I can spin out of a single page of a source. Yes, I'm returning to that CBK document because I hadn't totally milked it dry. 

I'll bully off with some translated bullet points:

"3) Position in the world ranking:
After the war, with the exception of 1957, the Netherlands has always been the world's largest beer exporter. In 1961, Germany ousted the Netherlands from first place.

4) The Netherlands' share in world beer exports is approximately 20%. Every 5th glass of imported beer anywhere in the world is therefore of Dutch origin.

5) Number of countries (according to CBS classification) to which Dutch beer is exported in 1961: 143.

6) 1961 foreign exchange proceeds approximately 73 million guilders. (For comparison, distilled exports yielded 28,200,000 in 1961)."
Holland en Bier held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121 1139, page 1.

Wondering what points 1 and 2 were? Then go and look at the effing document yourself, you nosey bastard. I'm not going to do everything for you. It'll just encourage you not to bother.

As I'm a nice bloke, here's bullet point 8 in table form:

Beer exports in 1961
country hl
Germany 965,000
Denmark 696,000
Holland 865,583
UK 407,000
Holland en Bier held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121 1139, page 1.

Holland, despite its modest size was one of the big players in the beer export game. And still is. Perhaps that was prompted by the limited opportunities in the domestic market. Despite appearing to be a typical country in the North European beer-drinking belt, for most of the 20th century Holland wasn't. As the consumption per capita clearly shows:

Consumption per capita
year litres
1938 14.9
1950 10.6
1955 16.2
1960 23.8
1961 26.4
Holland en Bier held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121 1139, page 1.

That's Italian levels of consumption. Proper beer-drinking countries put away 100 litres plus per head a year. Though, to be fair, that had increased to over 80 litres by the 1990s


Saturday 18 September 2021

Let's Brew - 1960 Fullers London Pride

Another example recipe for my vertical look at the style of London PA. Though this wasn't called PA. And the beer which was called PA was no longer a Best Bitter. The war had knocked it down to Ordinary Bitter strength. When things had perked up a bit in the early 1950s, Fullers introduced a new beer which filled the Best Bitter slot. A beer which after a couple of name changes was finally dubbed London Pride.

London Pride sold in decent quantities for what was quite a strong Bitter. I can understand why. It’s a cracking beer when looked after properly.

This particular example was parti-gyled with the PA. The recipe is like all those from Fullers: pale malt flaked maize and sugar. The No. 2 invert and glucose are in the recipe. The No. 3 is my substitution for PEX and CDM.

It intrigues me that London Pride always seems to have tasted pretty much the same, even though there was a big change of the recipe, I think in the 1990s, when Fullers went all malt. The current version is pale malt, crystal malt and a tiny amount of chocolate malt for colour.

1960 Fullers London Pride
pale malt 8.00 lb 80.60%
flaked maize 1.25 lb 12.59%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.50 lb 5.04%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.05 lb 0.50%
glucose 0.125 lb 1.26%
Fuggles 90 min 1.00 oz
Goldings Varieties 30 min 1.00 oz
OG 1043.5
FG 1011.5
ABV 4.23
Apparent attenuation 73.56%
IBU 27
Mash at 144º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

This recipe appears in my book on post-WW II UK brewing, Austerity!

Friday 17 September 2021

Dutch beer 1938 - 1961

I found a strange little document in the Amsterdam Archives. Not one I had asked to be digitised. That honour goes to my friend Peter Symons. 

Its source is the CBK (the Dutch brewers' association). The first page has an overview of the Dutch brewing industry in 1961. The rest seems to be the draught of a promotional blurb about the Amstel brewery. Full of annotations and requests to check various facts. The two sections seem totally unconnected.

It's the first page that I'll be looking at today. I like it because it's got some lovely big, fat numbers. Exactly my sort of thing.

First some general stuff. In 1961 there were 34 breweries in Holland, of which ten exported. Quite a high percentage, considering.Between them, they employed 5,500 people. Which doesn't sound a lot. That works out to around 162 per brewery. That must only include those directly employed and not those working in pubs.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, Holland really got its act together between the wars in the growing of malting barley. In 1961, it was totally self-sufficient.

I'll finish with a lovely table. Note what a high proportion of production was exported . This grew even more, hitting around 50% in the 1990s.

Dutch beer 1938 - 1961 (hl)
year Dutch sales exports total % exported
1938 1,269,356 111,512 1,380,868 8.08%
1950 1,068,462 360,084 1,428,546 25.21%
1955 1,719,188 664,725 2,383,913 27.88%
1960 2,635,339 916,314 3,551,653 25.80%
1961 2,935,999 865,583 3,801,582 22.77%
Holland en Bier held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121 1139, page 1.